Renewed concerns as 'artificial buildings' mushrooms along NH 202

Artificial buildings constructed by individuals that have come up along NH 202 for seeking compensation.

Artificial buildings constructed by individuals that have come up along NH 202 for seeking compensation.

P Achumse Sangtam
Kiphire | March 24

The practice of constructing temporary and makeshift structures by individuals and organisations on private lands along road stretch, aiming to obtain compensation from the government, often attracts significant attention in Nagaland.

In recent times, the mushrooming of 'artificial buildings' along National Highway (NH) 202 in Meluri area under the Phek district, due to the proposed two-lane construction has captured widespread attention across various platforms.

The NH 202 stretches from Mokokchung to Imphal, passing through Tuensang, Shamator, Kiphire, Meluri, Jessami, and Ukhrul. 

With impending two-lane construction of the same highway along the road stretch in the Kiphire district, there has been a noticeable increase in the construction of artificial buildings alongside the proposed two-lane road.

This concern is not lost on social and student organisations in the area.

Speaking to The Morung Express, President of Longmatra Area Public Organization (LAPO) Daniel Sangtam noted that “development of quality roads must not be compromised at the cost of certain artificial buildings that have come up other than farmhouses in existence before the approval of the proposed two-lane road, nor should it stand as a hindrance towards common development.”

LAPO, in the general interest of all, discourages the practice of construction of artificial buildings along the proposed two-lane road construction, he said.

Likewise, Atsoba Thonger, former President of Longmatra Area Students’ Union (LASU), stated: “It is not only a violation of the law but also a betrayal of our duty as Christians as it defeats the value of common hope and vision for a better society.”

For Thsapongse Sangtam, a former United Sangtam Students’ Conference (USSC) official, rampant practice of building artificial houses along proposed two-lane road construction for the purpose of seeking compensation is “morally and ethically wrong.”
“We must discourage such practices as a community,” he stressed.

Heroli Y Anar, the Working President of the Nagaland Pradesh Youth Congress, meanwhile, urged the authority to step in to curb such practices.

“The government needs to step in and stop this practice as it’s not just about compensation; it’s about the common development of our communities,” Anar noted.

Sharing the overall view, Irothe T Sangtam, President, LASU said that the availability of land should be used properly as it is the only sure investment, keeping in mind that the value of land would increase when there is development. “The simplest rudimentary fact to abrogate is the working of how the people (landowners) are unfairly compensated for their land; rather the authority should make sure that rightful owners are properly compensated according to the value of their land,” he highlighted.
It may be noted that the practice of constructing houses along NHs raises questions about the motives behind such actions. While individuals may claim compensation for their land, there are concerns about the legitimacy of these claims and whether they are being used as a means to gain financial benefit at the expense of public resources.